2018 Liebster Award Nomination

The 2018 Liebster Award Nomination has fallen into my lap this year, and I am so humbled, curious, excited, and equally stoked about this opportunity. The word “Liebster” is derived from the German language as meaning valued, sweet, loveable, and welcome. This award was created by The Global Aussie back in 2011, and it reaches thousands of blog nominations each year by bloggers, for bloggers. I think it’s a great opportunity to gain exposure, meet fellow bloggers, and a wider audience on my platform, so I would like to thank Mindy On The Move for my nomination. In terms of the winner, I am not entirely sure how they are chosen. On the rules page of the award, it is said that winners are based on the questions that they ask their nominees. I chose questions that I feel tell a lot about a person, and so while I didn’t aim to make them the most unique to win, I think that they can really allow someone to explore themselves a little more, and let their audience get to know the creator behind the blog.

 

Why I Started What Do You Sea

I started this space, technically, almost a year ago, but I never treated it as something that could shape my future until August of this year. I started What Do You Sea as a place where I could keep all of my memories from my travels and keep my families updated in the process. I knew that some of my favorite travel bloggers had made their living from traveling the world and getting these amazing opportunities, but I never believed in myself enough to actually pursue my own dream of travel. That is, until I chose to believe in myself and this dream. Once I returned from my trip to Scotland, I chose to show up for myself every day and work hard to make quality blog content in hopes to inspire others and help save the planet along the way. I have spent the last few months pouring investments into my blog and creating to get caught up on all my adventures so far, and I am proud to say that I have grown a small community(and growing!) that reads my blog. I am so thankful for everyone that has supported me this far, even if this is your first time visiting.

 

About Mindy On The Move

To the wild-loving woman that made this entire experience possible for me, thank you for seeing my potiential and believing in my own space.

Mindy is a passionate hiker, believer, and adventurer in everything she does. It was no coincidence that we met during these times, and I owe it to her for fanning my flame and love for what I get to do every single day. She hopes “to inspire others to break free from their comfort zones. To be unafraid. To push their limits. TO HAVE FUN. LIVE LIFE.  To open their eyes to all the beauty in this world. To learn from different cultures and to “walk the footsteps of a stranger”.  To quietly observe the magic of wildlife.  To relish the joys of playing among the fresh air.  To get out there and MOVE all over the globe.”  After speaking with her and joining her group, We Are Wild Women, I knew that she was going to be special in my life and journey. I can’t thank her enough for this, and please go check out her blog, Mindy On The Move, to be inspired on all things WILD.

 

 

My Questions From Mindy On The Move

Once you are nominated for this award, you answer a set of questions that your nominator chose for you. Mindy sent me these questions and I love her selections as they allowed me to dig deeper into who I am. These are the questions I received:


 

What is one uncomfortable experience you’ve had while traveling and how did you grow from the experience?

I think that the process of learning how to travel for myself has been both uncomfortable and adventurous. I still feel like I am relatively new to the travel scene since I have only been to five countries including my own, but figuring out how to meet new friends, navigate a new place, and showing up for myself each day has been so uncomfortable for someone who was so comfortable and used to spending her time during schooling in her room writing, researching, and finding flight deals. I feel like my life did a complete one-eighty into one step closer to my dream life. I was, and still am, living in my own fantasy that just so happens to be in the process of manifesting into my reality. I am still growing and learning, but traveling has taught me so many things about myself that I would have never of known had I never traveled and left my uncomfortable zone.

 


 

Have you ever had a supernatural experience throughout your adventures?

I have not experienced anything supernatural throughout my adventures since I do tend to avoid all things haunted or even remotely spooky lol. So fingers crossed that I am not paid a visit in the future and we keep this streak going!

 


 

What natural landscape has impacted your soul above all others – where have you felt most connected to your natural surroundings?

This coconut-loving, sun fanatic left her heart in Scotland this summer; particularly the highlands. I think there are very few words I can string together to describe a landscape so breathtaking, but it truly felt like home to me. Scotland has become one of those places that I will go back to time and time again because of it’s unmatchable beauty and wonder. The highlands and folklore filled me with so much love and joy that I wanted to hop into the grass and watch the clouds pass by to try and remind myself that this isn’t a dream, but the reality of a truly incomprehensible creation. If Scotland hasn’t come across your radar yet, make sure you make it out there at least once in your life.

Something else that is not so area specific is waterfalls; with one of my favorites so far being Casaroro Falls in the Philippines. I think if you get there early enough you can immerse yourself in complete seclusion and wonder about how they came to be. It’s one of those nature spots that I will never get tired of seeing and exploring. You can find them all around the world, and I bet there are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands that haven’t been discovered, and that is the most amazing thing about them, (most of the time although it’s changed with media), you need to explore to find the gems which is what traveling is all about.

 


 

Do you prefer luxury travel such as glamorous, 5-star hotels or “roughing-it” in nature such as camping or sleeping in RVs and such?

I would take camping and surviving off peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a week over a luxurious five-star hotel experience, but if at the end of those days without a shower I was able to spend one night in a boujee hotel room and eat chocolate strawberries out of a porcelain bathtub, I would enjoy both equally as much. I do believe in having a balance in my life, so while I do rough it out a majority of the time, it’s always nice to have a special treat for myself every once in a while. I think that if I were going to a special event or outing like a bachelorette party, it would be nice to have something more modern, but I don’t find myself attending those things often, if at all, on my travels. So it really is situational for me, but a vast majority of the time I prefer getting down and dirty with my surroundings.

There is no “right way” to travel, but I feel the most connected to my surroundings when I am in a more rugged travel setting.

 


 

Throughout your international travels, what quality (way of life, ideals etc) from what culture would you like to carry over to your own country?

I have experienced a little bit of reverse culture shock in my day, but one of the biggest things was on my return home from my first trip to Asia. Life here moves slowly and rarely anything you encounter is going to be expedited. Upon returning home to the United States, I found that a lot of American’s lives are based on life in the fast lane and instant gratification. I had a layover in Denver coming home from Okinawa and I was tired and I wanted to be able to sleep when I got home, so I grabbed a coffee from Starbucks to hold me over. I was waiting in line when this woman in front of me was outraged that her coffee was taking a long time. I am not here to invalidate feelings because she probably had some other things going on in her life, but I have found that whenever I am going through life at a full on sprint, I tend to have times where I too am impatient and might get a little more frustrated than normal, but I always make sure to remind myself to relax and slow down. My hope for my own country is for us to slow down and remember that life isn’t a race, and be patient in all things. Sometimes the coffee takes a little longer than normal, we’re running late to work, or maybe we’re just rushing around; relax. Why are we always in such a hurry?

 


 

If you had to choose an adventure movie to live in real life, what would it be and why?

After a few days of pondering this one, I have finally decided on Avatar. I think that living in a world untouched by the modern world would be so raw and breathtaking, and I would love to experience that true connection with nature like the na’vi. Plus, you get your own flying dinosaur and you get to fly through floating mountains, so honestly, who wouldn’t be up for that? I first saw the movie in 2009 and I have always wondered what it would be like to live in a world like that where you could be completely present in the moment and not have so many distractions in life. I think that being a human and being able to hop into this world would be incredibly, but I do wonder what it would be like staying in it and experiencing complete isolation from modern technology. The movie reminds me of my love for space and other planets, and I can’t help but wonder what else is out there when I watch this movie.

 


 

Who is your explorative hero and why do you aspire to travel like he/she?

My explorative hero is Ocean Ramsey. She is a shark and marine biologist/conservationist, competitive free diver, model, and designer who has been a huge advocate not only for the health of our oceans but our relationships with sharks and how we perceive them. She and her husband are both co-founders of One Ocean Diving that operates shark diving tours, cageless of course, to help raise awareness for this cause. I aspire to travel like her because she is able to spread a positive environmental message no matter where she goes, and she has changed the way that millions of people perceive sharks, including myself. One day I want to do something good for the health of the planet and start a company or business where profits can go towards environmental awareness and educate people on the current state that the earth is in. She is a voice for the voiceless and while I already support ocean health, ditching plastic, and shopping sustainably, I know that there is still so much more to learn from her and one day I aspire to help the world in my own way.

 


 

How do you feel your astrological sun sign influences your travels?

As a Libra, I think it’s pretty obvious that I am all about balance within myself and the way that I travel. There are strings of days where I will be on the go the entire day and I will want to keep doing so, but I remind myself that I need a day to just relax on the beach and sip a coconut. In being this way, I don’t believe that there is one specific way that I travel. I can relate to backpackers, luxury travelers, minimalist travelers, and the list goes on. I can adapt to my environment as long as I have something on the opposite side balancing it out, which is actually really helpful when I encounter unfamiliar things. I also value keeping the peace in all things, even in myself, so when I hit a bump in the road, I try my best to stay as calm as possible and go with the flow. I think these attributes make me a very relaxed traveler and make me an easy person to travel with.

 


 

How have you helped to spread kindness to strangers in foreign lands while you’ve traveled?

Through my patience and affability, I like to think that I have brought both understanding and love to the people that I have met along the way. You’d be amazed what you can learn just by speaking with people, and I think a handful of travelers fail to realize that. I try to learn as much as I can from the locals that I meet, pay for my guides meals, and make sure that I am treating people with kindness and respect. I always make sure that I am present when they’re speaking and I try my best to form valuable relationships with locals that I meet on the road. In the same way that they listen to my story, I listen to theirs and we are able to connect on a level that far surpasses buying my daily dragonfruit or being guided through a canyon.

 


 

What is an act of kindness you’ve experienced throughout your travels that greatly impacted your life/ lifted your spirits/brightened your world/renewed your faith in humanity?

Since I began this journey, two significant things that have renewed my faith in the people on this planet are that they are genuinely interested in my well-being and my passion in my life; and most will do absolutely anything to make sure that I get places safely, experience the beauty of their country, and feel right at home in a place that is unfamiliar. I live in the United States and people wise, you can meet some amazing people here, like anywhere you go, but I have been disliked for what I am doing with my life, noses have been turned up at me for following my dreams, and a lot of people have been outright disrespectful to me for not pursuing a college degree. I find that when I am traveling, I can openly express my ideas, dreams, and goals with locals and they’re excited and supportive, which is something that I never used to experience in that magnitude before. I have been invited into homes for dinner, driven three hours down an island on a scooter to get me to my homestay at one in the morning (yes, my buttcheeks were incredibly sore lol), and I have been given the gift of lifelong support, love, and friendship from the people that I have met along the way. I have more friends that live outside the United States than in and that speaks volumes in and of itself. So while I can’t pinpoint an exact moment, these moments strung together pinpoint a piece of time in my life that I will cherish forever.

I truly believe that people are inherently good and I owe that to traveling.

 


My Nominees

One of my favorite things about this blogging community is the endless number of blogs to browse and gawk at how beautiful their blog designs are! I chose these four blogs for a couple of reasons; photography, blogging content, and design, but I have been loving all four of them equally since I began my own journey. I think the photos below speak for the style and feel for the blog very well, so if one of these peaks your interest, browse their blog and show support on their platform as well! I have reached out to these four via Facebook, so I am excited to see if they will accept my nominations.


 

Stacy From What Stacy Did
Rutland-Autumn-3

After clicking through Stacy’s blog, I have come to the conclusion that she is the English version of myself with stunning imagery. I first saw her blog pins on Pinterest, and after immediately being transported into a magical fairyland, I knew that I needed to read her entire blog. She is based in the Peak District in the heart of England and values slow travel, ethical, responsible fashion, slow living, and finding the beauty in every day. Her photo’s from England are unmatchable and they have inspired me to get back out to England and explore these tiny villages, (and perhaps move here, am I right?). She values living and breathing the culture rather than checking off another major site and in this way she hopes to inspire her readers to travel more and travel better. If you’re interested in seeing more of Stacy, head over to What Stacy Did to learn more about her and check out her space.

Natasha From And Then I Met Yokohawaii_2017-60

“To my surprise, the woman, Yoko, just wanted to share her love of her city with me, a complete stranger. She believed that in doing this, others would do the same when she travelled, making her feel at ease in a foreign place. Yoko’s guided tour of Nara was magical, offering me a special window into a place I would never have experienced otherwise.”

Natasha has STUNNING imagery and incredibly detailed information on her website, and I knew immediately that I wanted her to be one of my nominee’s for this award. I feel like travel photography has been the same couple at the same spot, but she has her own unique style that has kept me scrolling through her space hungry for more. My absolute favorite post of her’s is about her trip to the Faroe Islands, and may I just say, prepare to buy a flight after you read it because it’s beautifully written, designed, and organized. She inspires me to stay true to my own unique style of photography after I find it of course, and if you want to gawk at a blog and learn more about Natasha, head over to And Then I Met Yoko.

Monique From My Perfect ItineraryIMG_7036

Monique and I connected recently through one of our travel blogger groups on Facebook, and I adore her rawness and content on her blog. If you haven’t guessed already, she makes perfect itineraries (duh lol), and has been sharing her travels from over twelve countries and counting! My favorite post so far of her’s is her 6-Day Iceland Itinerary since I am dying to get out there come 2019! Her personality and passion really shine in her writing and I truly feel like we are having a conversation as friends when I read her posts, which is something I value a lot in a blog! If you’re an avid coffee, puppy, and wine lover, head over to her site, My Perfect Itinerary to read her nomination post.

Daniela From No Hurry To Get HomeInle-Lake-The-way-in-which-Myanmar-will-steal-your-heart

When Daniela was only nineteen years old, she hopped on a one-way flight to Madrid and has since, in the last three years, lived in a Maasai village in Tanzania, taught geography to novice monks in Myanmar, and hitchhiked around Europe, and more! So basically she’s a badass risk taker and business owner at twenty-two! When I first saw her blog I knew it was something special and I found myself going back to it time and time again to read about her adventures in Africa. One of my favorite lines on her blog is, “I began pursuing my dreams before I even had time to be bored with my life”. She inspires me every day to work hard, leave my comfort zone in photography, and to be fearless in the pursuit of what sets my soul on fire. I am so pleased to say she accepted my nomination, so make sure you head over to No Hurry To Get Home to learn more about Daniela.


 

Questions For My Nominees

– If you could only keep one photo from all of your travels, what would it be? What were you feeling in that moment?

– What are the three big things that you want to improve/begin/lose in 2019?

– What is your personality type? Did you find your results to be accurate? Did it alter how you perceive yourself?

– What was the first monumental point in your career/blog that proved that your hard work was beginning to pay off?

– You’re going on a road trip down the west coast, what are three snacks that you can’t set off without?

– What are two things you practice each day to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself and your passion?

– Are you a city/mountain/jungle/beach person? Has traveling ever changed this?

– You set out on more travels and find yourself homesick. What meal would you cook to cure your homesickness?

– What is something new that you’ve tried that you ended up loving and sticking with?

– Where is one place in the world that you love, but has been underrated?

 


 

Read The 2018 Liebster Official Rules Here

 

 

Thank you all for your endless support and love and cheers to a year of more growth.

Until next time,

Aaren

 

 

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  • Wow, girl .. you’ve answered my questions so brilliantly – you truly have a gift! And, I agreed with your answers so much. The similarities I see between us (merely through the online world) is uncanny! I’m so happy we’ve crossed paths and I hope to adventure together one day, in real life! Even more, a thousand thank you’s for you kind words towards me at the beginning – put the biggest smile on my face. ☺️❤️